SL attended the discussion at the embassy: It was underlined that the ASM should have executive powers

„The Association of Serb-majority Municipalities is an institution necessary for the survival of the Serb people, and not anyone’s whim,“ Srpska Lista said after today’s discussion on the formation of the ASM in Pristina. The party confirmed that their representatives attended this meeting organized by the US Embassy.

Even though its officials tendered their resignations from all government positions at the central level, as well as in the municipal self-governments in the north, including the police and the judiciary, back in November of 2022, Srpska Lista now says that it attended the discussion as a legitimate representative of the Serb people.

The party described the two-and-a-half-hour discussion on the ASM with Albanian and Serbian representatives, civil society, and the diplomatic corps as a meeting.

They claim that they reiterated their position: The formation of the Association of Serb-majority Municipalities is Pristina’s obligation, undertaken in the form of an international obligation, and then ratified in the Kosovo Parliament by a two-thirds majority.

„It was clearly emphasized that the formation of the ASM must be implemented as agreed in Brussels in 2013 and 2015,“ SL says.

According to them, this implies that „only the Management Team“ is responsible for drafting the Statute of the Association of Serb-majority Municipalities – „and not anyone else“.

A day earlier, the Pristina representative office of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation presented its draft of the ASM Statute as a contribution to the efforts to form this body, according to which a body with a different name does not have executive powers and is fully integrated into the Kosovo system, while the rights and responsibilities of the Serb community are described as „full review“. The Serbian president previously criticized the activities of this foundation, as did part of the pro-governmental media in Belgrade.

Srpska Lista said in a statement that they underlined that the ASM must have executive powers.

„The ASM needs to be the umbrella institution of the Serb people that will protect the individual and collective rights of our people,“ they emphasized.

The party – which was also previously reiterated by Milica Andric-Rakic from the NGO NSI, and Aleksandar Arsenijevic from GI Srpski opstanak – emphasized the following:

All of the discussion participants from the Serbian community shared the view that the formation of the ASM is necessary.

„This confirms once again that this is the request of the Serb people in Kosovo, but also more than clearly shows that Albin Kurti is telling a lie when he says that the Serbs do not want the Association of Serb-majority Municipalities,“ Srpska Lista concluded.

The US ambassador Jeffrey Hovenier, also underlined that the ASM must be formed. „It is critical, important, and urgent,“ Hovenier said after the discussion.

However, contrary to the statements of Srpska Lista, he emphasized once again that the US „strictly oppose the creation of any entity resembling Republika Srpska in Bosnia and Herzegovina“.

„We do not support any arrangement that violates Kosovo’s Constitution, that is inconsistent with the 2015 Constitutional Court decision, or that would threaten Kosovo’s sovereignty, independence, multiethnic character, or democratic institutions.“

The meeting in Pristina today gathered representatives of the Kosovo government, political parties, CSOs and the diplomatic corps.

Andric-Rakic and Arsenijevic previously told KoSSev that they could not reveal the participants individually, considering the Chatham House Rule, under which the meeting was held.

The Government of Kosovo was represented by the Minister of Health Arben Vitija, the Minister of Education Arberija Nagavci, and the Minister for Communities and Returns, Nenad Rasic. The media report that there were also other representatives present at the discussion.

After the meeting, Ambassador Jeffrey Hovenier addressed the media, emphasizing that today’s discussion reflects the importance the US attributes to the formation of the ASM.

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